I haven't trained at all this last week as on Monday I came down with a cold... (in honour, I'm publishing this entry in green). I guess I'm due one and one of the things of having kids is that they come home with anything that's out there.
It's not the worst cold I've ever had but its main feature seems to be lethargy. It sucks...no gym and no BJJ. All I want to do is sleep. The worst thing is that (I'm guessing I may be better once the weekend's out (I'm hoping to at least get to Yoga on Sunday)) I won't be able to train Jiu Jitsu until Thursday next week as I'm away with work on Tuesday night.
Recent training continues in the same fashion although we've started a bit of stand up - same principles of occupying space/yeilding, controlling your opponent's base with the odd trip here and there. I get the principles but just need to work a little more sensitively - there's still a temptation to over do it and end up wrestling with my opponent. In all of this there's a notion of self defence first and foremost, which is great. It means that the training is immediately transferable to a sports arena without any adaptation required - not neccesarily the case if Jiu Jitsu is trained primarily with sport in mind.
I trained on Sunday with Big Dean and Si - just casual, swapping a few ideas and observations - nothing taxing and good to just throw a few ideas around. Obviously it was good to see Dean again too - mate, it's been too long! I think it was a good thing that the session wasn't too tough as just after the first few signs of my cold started to make themselves known. :(
Another feature of recent weeks seems to be burgeoning numbers with Nuri bringing a friend along and old-timers returning (some threatening) to the fray. One major development worth spending a bit of time on is the news of Richard's (Blue belt, purple stripe) decision to stop training.
This came out of the blue and as quite a shock to all. Richard's not the longest serving member of the club, but is one of the most advanced and ever present guys. I'm only guessing, but I'd imagine a few factors in his decsion. Without going into detail Richard does a job that he's fully committed to both ideologically and in terms of his own career progression. It's a taxing job that most of us, me included couldn't even countenance doing - I'm just glad there are people around like him to do it.
He also lives in Whitstable so I guess a minimum hour and a half round trip twice a week is tough.
Whether this is forever, I guess time will tell and ultimately, only Richard knows. All I can say, and this is purely selfish, is it's a shame. I've definitely benefited from training with, and under Richard - he's able to feel exactly what you need to do to improve or make things easier and coaches really well. Maybe a long break will reignite whatever it is he's lost (assuming he has of course, or even that he wants to).
The other by-product of Richard ending his training is that Craig won't be around either as he got his lifts with Rick - a shame as I enjoyed rolling with Craig as he is much smaller than me so challenged me to roll with technique rather than strength.
Richard, if you're reading, thanks for the training, the coaching and the pointers and all the best for all that you do in the future.
Update to "Where is Rickson?"
Today, Dean Taylor, my instructor sent me a couple of links that make reference to recent Rickson activity that I thought was interesting so I thought I'd share it here:
The first is a recent (this month) interview with Rickson himself (in Portuguese):
No huge surprises in what he says, but it's interesting to see his views on Jiu Jitsu as a martial art above and beyond the sport and its links with MMA. The rough translation provided is:
“He said that he will probably not fight again, if he fight again he wants to get paid more than any other fighter (he said that he does Not need the money but he has too much to lose) and he doesn't need to prove nothing to nobody. He said that he is not impressed with anybody at this moment in BJJ in MMA, he said that he adores Minotauro but he is should be training more BJJ he has great BJJ but he should train less boxing or MT and more BJJ, because he should not have to take so much damage in a fight to win in the ground, when he is on the ground he usually wins but he has a hard time taking the fight to the ground. He said that he wants to change the image of BJJ in Brasil, he wants it to be a martial art that is effective like it is today but he wants everybody to do it, not just fighters, because he believes that, BJJ should be used to make people more confident, better citizens, make people more respectful, BJJ need to bring back some of the traditional martial arts ideals.” [sic].
Also, according to GracieMag, Rickson is running a seminar this weekend (11th/12th Oct 08) in Rio - “Rickson has reached a point in his life where he has decided to share with everyone, indiscriminately, his knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu. It’s a unique opportunity to learn the Jiu-Jitsu he has dubbed as "invisible", but that, although abstract, will be taught for application not just on the mats, but also off them”.
If this is true (aligned to the plans for a seminar series in 2009), this is going to be an awesome time for anyone that can attend these seminars.
The second is this interview with Shane Rice (scroll down the page)(Rickson Gracie Black Belt and main instructor at the LA Academy). What's interesting is Shane's take on what it's like to train with Rickson and the difference in the way Rickson approaches BJJ compared to most people. Some of the stories (like the legendary closed doors fight with Yoji Anjoh) are cool too. I've never met Shane (or Rickson!), but I recognise what he's saying in the philosophy that Dean brings to the way we practice Jiu Jitsu at our club. Some will dismiss this as just more Rickson propganda from a loyal student, but it's hard not to be inspired. Enjoy.